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State of Dealer Locators in Building Materials

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State of Dealer Locators in Building Materials

A good dealer locator is essential in attracting customers and completing the sale. With the advent of lock downs and new technologies, customer behavior has been changing. Online research is becoming even more common. According to a study, 81% of consumers check online before going to a physical store.

The same survey also said that a consumer spends an average of 79 days looking for information before making a major purchase. The study shows the importance of online information such as a contractor or dealer locator on the website of building materials companies. The locator on your website is essential because it can help you convert online searches and visits into actual purchases and therefore increasing sales. We at Whizard Strategy conducted a survey on the “State of Dealer Locator,” and would want to share the survey results in this article.

What is a Contractor or Dealer Locator? 

A store or dealer locator is a feature that companies can add to their website to help their customers find their products nearest location. In other words, it encourages people to visit your physical store and helps increase sales. Traditional store locators offer basic information such as the location of your store, but it can be enhanced to provide other helpful information. For example, applications like the  Bullseye location software can help give a better customer experience by providing more features and useful information. 

Results of The State of Dealer Locator Survey

The online survey was conducted between Feb 26 to Mar 2, 2021, and was given to multiple business leaders and personnel with various roles in their respective companies. The respondents were mainly from marketing 64%, corporate executives 14%, sales 14%, and others at 7%. They were asked multiple questions about the state of their dealer locator, and here are the survey results. 

When the respondents were asked how they currently sell their products, 58% percent said through dealers, 55% distributors, 24% contractors, 10% big boxes, and 21% other means. This data shows that companies use multiple modes of selling their products. And the bulk of sales come from their dealers and distributors. 

The respondents were also asked how many of them use a dealer or contractor locator; almost 59% percent said they have a locator. Around 24% percent do not have a locator, and 17% have a contractor locator. This data shows that a large percentage of the respondents are using a locator in their business. However, you will also notice that around a quarter of those surveyed were not using a locator.

The survey also revealed that 61% agree that prospects who visit dealer locators are interested in their products and are ready to buy.  While 50% agree that the dealer locator provides convenience to the consumer and shows the prospect where the dealer or contractor is located. These data indicate that the respondents believe that locators are a big help to consumers and add to their sales. 

When the respondents were asked how satisfied they were with their locators, 11% said they were very satisfied, 50% satisfied, 22% neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and 17% were dissatisfied. The data means  61% of the respondents were happy with their locators but only with a slight lead. Interestingly, around 39%  had reservations about their locator, which is a considerable number. 

When the respondents were asked what features they like to have in their locators, 60% said they want to identify customers to place them into the CRM and marketing automation programs. Around 47% said they want to communicate special offers and events, and 33% want to give customers background information about each dealer or contractor to help them choose the best location for them. Around 27% want to track lead status after delivering lead to the dealer to ensure proper follow-up, and 20% segment customers by importance.The data means that aside from the traditional function of a locator, the respondents want other features from their locator that can help them with their business. 

A large percentage of the respondents, 33% very likely and 33% likely, or a total of 66%, wanted to improve the features of their locators. While the rest, 33%, were neither likely nor unlikely to enhance their locators. These data showed that the majority of the respondents would want to improve the features of their locator. 

The survey also revealed 47% agree that dealers may sell competitors’ products before theirs, and only 40% agree that their dealers quickly followed up with leads. While 40% agree that their dealers do not provide the status of the leads they sent, and 20% agree that their dealers did not correctly communicate their product’s benefit to customers. The data showed that manufacturers and suppliers were not satisfied with what their dealers and locators were doing to their products. 

What does all the data mean to  your business?

A dealer locator is an essential tool in your business, and with more features, it can significantly increase customer satisfaction and sales. The survey can be summarized according to the following points: 

  • The survey showed that a majority of businesses use a locator. So if you haven’t incorporated it into your website or application, perhaps it is time to have it now.  
  • Although many of those surveyed were satisfied with their locator, a significant number had some reservations about its performance. 
  • A large percentage of those surveyed wanted to improve the locators they currently have. 
  • The survey revealed that users wanted more features or functions for their locators compared to what they have at the moment. 
  • The respondents were sometimes unsure what their dealers or distributors were doing to their products, and a majority were not satisfied with them. 

The survey showed the importance of a Dealer Locator to improve customer traffic in physical stores. It also revealed that while it is beneficial, many features can be added to a traditional locator to improve its performance and help business. The good news is that many companies like Bullseye location software can help provide a better customer experience by providing more valuable features to your locator.

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.